The Bakersfield Sound pioneer and country legend Buck Owens placed 21 No. 1 hits on the country chart throughout his career spanning more than five decades. The 1960s was definitely Owens’ golden days as he scored most of his hits during this period. His 1963 single “Act Naturally” commenced his long list of chart-topper hits and concluded by “Streets of Bakersfield,” a collaboration with Dwight Yoakam in 1988. Astonishingly, the singer has produced at least two No. 1 songs in a year for five consecutive years since 1963. As a result, Owens became one of the most popular country artists in the ’60s.
His Seventh No. 1 Song
The Country Music of Fame member and Texas native earned his seventh top country hit in 1965. In fact, this song entitled “Before You Go” was already the second of his two No. 1 singles during that year. The first was “I’ve Got a Tiger by the Tail.” Owens co-wrote “Before You Go” with his best friend and guitarist Don Rich. His accidental death in 1974 has left Owens greatly distressed causing him to halt his career for many years. It was only in 1988 when he first performed again, thanks to Dwight Yoakam who, somehow, took him out of the ‘darkness.”
“Before You Go” was the lead single and title track of Owens’ album of the same name. It was released on April 19, 1965, and quickly climbed to the chart’s summit in just two months. Specifically, the song peaked at No. 1 on Billboard Hot Country Songs chart on June 26, 1965. Its top-of-the-chart reign run for six weeks and spent chart and The break-up ballad was also a minor crossover hit settling at No. 83 on Hot 100.
The album on which the song was recorded received a favorable review from Allmusic. Critic Richie Unterberger specifically noted,
“This has the usual competent original material and accomplished guitar picking, paced by the number one title track, with occasional instrumentals thrown in for a change of pace.”
All in all, the album consisted of tracks. Most of them were either written or co-written by Owens, himself. This cemented further his standing in songwriting which eventually ended in his induction to the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Watch Buck Owens and Don Rich performing “Before You Go” live below.
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